Q. What did you enjoy most about returning to the role of Gwen Stacy?
EMMA STONE: Everything. I really loved getting to play Gwen again. “Gwen Again.” I still think that should be the name of this movie. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Gwen Again.” I like that she is in such a different place in her life. She’s lost her father, which is a horrible tragedy, and that has brought her into this place of maturity and clarity and awareness of mortality and awareness that time is luck. In her valedictorian speech, she encompasses the theme and message of the movie, which is all about time and timing and the choices we make so I was really excited to get to be Gwen at this stage of her journey.
Q. How important do you think it was that the filmmakers stuck to the Gwen Stacy storyline of the comics?
EMMA: Very. I was very attached to the storyline from the comics but they had said before I even auditioned that it was their intention to follow through with Gwen’s story. That’s arguably what she’s best known for, historically, with the comic books. Her ending is what she’s most identified by. So, yeah, it was very important.
Q. Do you think she made the right decision to stay in New York and not go to Oxford?
EMMA: I think she is on her way to Oxford. He’s just said right before the fight that he’s going to move to London with her, so it’s my understanding of it that she was going to leave a couple of days later. She was still going to go.
Q. A key theme of these films is using your powers for good in the world. Do you think the average person can relate to this concept?
EMMA: I think one of the great things about Peter and the message of the movie is that everyone does have the power to do great things but it’s so individual. So it’s about identifying what your strengths are and what you are here to bring to the world. Everybody is born with something they are meant to do. I truly believe that. Whether they’re actually doing it or not is a different story. But I think there’s a seed in every human being that they’re destined to do and they’re destined to bring to the world. Through finding what that is, you can find what your specific good to bring to people is. That’s very individual. It just depends on the person.
Q. There’s also the idea that Gwen and Peter are strong academics. Is that something you hope younger viewers pick up on - the value of education?
EMMA: I think learning is incredibly important. But I think schooling is flawed. I didn’t go to traditional school. I was homeschooled for a lot of my school experience and I was bored in school a lot and that made me think that I didn’t want to learn. And that wasn’t the truth. I’m so curious and I absolutely love learning. So I think the school system isn’t necessarily the only way to learn or to become all of the things that you can become. I think it’s important for kids to be in school and to learn. But I think staying wise and always learning and never quelling your curiosity is the most important thing, to me, personally. That was the reality in my life, not necessarily academia, per se.
Q. Is there a particular scene or moment in the film that you’re particularly proud of?
EMMA: In the beginning, in the valedictorian speech, Gwen says that time is luck and not to waste it living someone else’s lives, which I think we do a lot of the time by comparing ourselves to other people or trying to follow in our parents’ footsteps or a friend that did something or thinking that you need to be something that you’re not or that you need to fit into a certain mold. I think that’s a pretty good message and one that I try to follow.
Q. Was there a particular moment that was a real acting challenge for you in this film, either physically or emotionally?
EMMA: There are always challenges and difficulties. With acting, you’re willing yourself to feel things at the drop of a hat so, depending on the day, it’s more challenging or easier or more fun or more excruciating. So I found lots of things challenging but that’s also the joy of being an actor.
Q. Gwen gets a bit more involved in the action this time. Was that fun to play?
EMMA: It was. She’s thankfully not involved in anything violent. It’s mostly swinging and falling. So that was kind of like dancing. The flying and the swinging is a blast. I love it.
Q. Did you enjoy playing the film’s comedic moments with Peter, where the lines fly back and forth like Hepburn and Tracy?
EMMA: Yes. It’s a little rat-a-tat. That’s always, always fun.
Q. What would you say is Gwen’s greatest strength and her greatest weakness?
EMMA: Her greatest strength is probably her clarity and willfulness and that is also her biggest weakness because her willful nature does get her involved in some tricky situations. But arguably, that’s what was meant to happen. That was fated. But she is incredibly willful. She puts herself in there. She’s not a damsel-in-distress. She’s willfully there. That stubbornness maybe goes a little too far.
Q. If you could have a superhero power in real life, what would it be and why?
EMMA: Teleportation because you could be anywhere in a second. You could go home for lunch and then come back to whatever country you’re in. It would be wonderful.
Q. Finally, why do you think these films appeal so strongly to both male and female audiences?
EMMA: Because there’s something for everybody. There are so many different elements and so many tones that are striking in this movie. There’s a huge amount of action but there’s also so much intimacy and so much struggle and love and exploring human behavior. It’s this big superhero universe but we’re still talking about the fundamentals of what it is to be human. So it’s relatable to anyone who’s ever been human, which is pretty much most people. Like ninety-five percent of humans are human.
[ Supplied Q&A ]